The big-hearted members of NEMSA – the North of England Mule Sheep Association – raised huge sums for charity at this year’s annual fall sales in the northern auction markets.
Each vendor who sold Kirkby Stephen’s main lamb gimmer mule sale donated £ 110 to the charity of their choice, The Great North Air Ambulance Service, with a check for £ 6,000.
In a letter to Kirkby President Stephen Branch Ian Cousin, Dr. Neil Hudson, MP for Penrith and The Border, wrote: “The generosity of everyone who participated in the Gimmer Lamb Charity Sale is very commendable. Harrison & Hetherington’s contribution was also a very generous gesture. These funds will be very well received by the GNAA and will be used to help those in need of this service in the remote areas with which they are so well placed.
At the two-day Hawes sale, Rugby Mart’s champion Mule gimmer shearling was kindly donated by Henry Tustain of Banbury to be sold to Sepsis UK in memory of young Cumbrian farmer Hannah Brown of Dufton who died so tragically young earlier this year. It raised £ 1,000.
As charities feel the nationwide pinch due to the pandemic limiting fundraising efforts, Leyburn Mart customers at various stages have offered help to The Yorkshire Air Ambulance and Sepsis UK via the sale of cattle and other donations, while at the annual lamb gimmer opening Tom Anderson, of Middleham, offered a single sheep for sale for Sepsis UK, both still in memory of Hannah. The latter fell to Chris Metcalfe and his family, of Leighton, Masham, for £ 300.
GNAA was once again the beneficiary when £ 1,160 was raised at Wigton Auction Mart. A spokesperson for GNAA said: ‘In order for us to continue providing this service we need to raise over £ 5million each year. We couldn’t continue to operate without you. Your donations will have an impact on the lives of people across the region. Last year we were called 1,640 times.
In Cockermouth, the Mule Sheepskin Sale saw Thomas Hird, from Westray, donate two Suffolk gimmer lambs which sold for £ 170 each. The buyer then put them up for sale again, this time earning £ 140 each. Fifteen days later, at the Mule gimmer lamb sale, John Ritson, of Baggra Yeat, donated his average sale of £ 150, while AG & KF Nicholson, of Swinside End Farm, also donated ‘a Mule grade lamb that fetched £ 200.
All of the above donations have gone to Martyn Mawson Memorial Fundraising, which supports four charities – The Great North Air Ambulance, Keswick Mountain Rescue Team, The Alzheimer’s Society and Prostate Cancer UK.
NEMSA National President Chris Harrison, farmer from the Cumbrian Hills, said: “The fundraising efforts of the NEMSA community, as well as the support of the auction markets and The Mule Group, are commendable.